The remote moors and valleys around Hexham in Northumberland have been producing fighting men for countless millennia. From repelling invading Romans and Vikings, to locking swords with William Wallace’s rampaging Scots, and the lawless days of the Border Reivers, the men of Tynedale have always rallied to the cause. So when Kitchener’s call went out in 1914, Tynedale’s farmers, estate workers, pitmen and the gentry flocked to the colours in their thousands.
Pitched straight into the front line against battle-hardened German troops just a week after landing in France in 1915, the Tynedale-based Territorials, the 4th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers, acquitted themselves so well they received a personal commendation from the Allied Commander in Chief, Sir John French. And what of those who were left behind to face the constant threat of the sinister Zeppelins, escaped German prisoners lurking in the heather and the outraged accusations of ‘shirking’ and cowardice?
Extensive and painstaking research into the impact of the conflict on Hexham and the wider Tynedale district, both on the front line and on the home front, has produced this fascinating and absorbing account of a district at war.
Letters back home from the trenches, soldiers’ diaries and reports in the local press paint a vivid picture of what it was like to face the withering fire of German machine guns, the choking clouds of poisonous gas and to suffer the devastating loss of fathers, sons, husbands and sweethearts, as tales of unbelievable heroism and Northumbrian humour abound.
The 'Baby Killers'
By: Thomas Fegan
By: Colin Pengelly
The Burgoyne Diaries
By: Gerald Archilles Burgoyne
By: Adrian Gilbert, Martin Mace, Peter Tsouras, Nigel West
Edited by: John Grehan
Aces of the Reich
By: Mike Spick
ShipCraft 16: Admiral Hipper Class Cruisers
By: Steve Backer
Early Ships and Seafaring: Water Transport Beyond Europe
By: Sean McGrail
Fittest of the Fit
By: Kevin Brown
RAF College, Cranwell: A Centenary Celebration
By: Roger Annett
Foreword by: Sir Sandy Wilson KCB